By , Suzee Skwiot for Rodale Wellness
Published May 09, 2016
In case your spring cleaning plans included a complete bedroom makeover, let this latest research, published in the Journal of Medical Entomology, inspire your redecorating color choices.
According to a new study, bedbugs, the pesky, blood-sucking creatures that thrive in your bedsheets, have very specific color preferences. While observing the behavior patterns of these unwanted pests, the researchers noticed that their favorite hiding places were red and black, and that they stayed far away from green and yellow colors.
Translation: It's time to ditch those black and red sheets, and start incorporating colors into your bedbug treatment plans.
"We originally thought the bedbugs might prefer red because blood is red and that's what they feed on," said Corraine McNeill, PhD, one of the co-authors in a press release. "However, after doing the study, the main reason we think they preferred red colors is because bedbugs themselves appear red, so they go to these harborages because they want to be with other bedbugs, as they are known to exist in aggregations."
However, while red and black were overwhelmingly the favorite colors, the researchers note that their movements did vary. The bug's sex, age, and even whether they were alone or in groups, shifted their preferences, but the two top colors continued to be preferred across the board.
As for their least frequented routes? The light colors, doctors hypothesize, may remind bedbugs of light, which is their constant enemy. The yellow and green sheets are therefore the most bedbug-resistant. And while previous research has claimed that phermones can trap bedbugs, the color choice may be a preferred option for some.
Now before you set out to stock up on all light-colored sheets, the researchers do note that the information shouldn't be the go-to plan of attack. Instead, the research applies more to trapping the bugs, rather than prevention.
"I don't know how far I would go to say don't get a red suitcase or red sheets, but the research hasn't been done yet, so we can't really rule that out completely," McNeill added.
Looks like it's time to rethink your entire strategy.